"Present Tense: 2019" Conference

Why Philadelphia

We can’t think of a more perfect place to hold this year’s conference than the city of Philadelphia, a thriving educational and creative hub for craft and a case study for the way in which creative practices influence a whole community. While you’re in town, you’ll encounter that firsthand on tours of local artists' studios, museum collections, and more.

Tours: Thursday and Friday

Join us for a free walking tour or bus tour of the city. When you register for the conference, you have the option of selecting one tour each day. Learn more below about the tours offered.

Walking Tour of Philadelphia
Discover historic and contemporary craft connections on this walking tour led by Jennifer Zwilling of the Clay Studio. Philadelphia has been a vibrant craft hub for more than 300 years. Join us as we venture out to explore the magnificent and historically important architectural fabric of the city. As you travel from Independence Mall to Old City, you’ll learn about the craftspeople who created Independence Hall, Christ Church (where George Washington worshiped), the Betsy Ross House, Elfreth's Alley, and the current craft artists in residence at the Clay Studio and the Center for Art in Wood.

Bus Tour
Join us on tours – in partnership with CraftNOW Philadelphia – to explore some of some of Philadelphia’s most exciting maker spaces. Buses will travel from Center City to visit Globe Dye Works and MaKen Studios.

About Globe Dye Works
A former yarn-dyeing factory, Globe Dye Works has been transformed into a community of artists, designers, and fabricators. Tour the studios of Brian Giniewski and Stacey Lee Webber, while also seeing a brand new gallery and event spaces.

About MaKen Studios
Short for “Made in Kensington” and comprised of nearly 300,000-square-feet, MaKen Studios is comprised of two repurposed, industrial buildings in north Philadelphia that foster the development and sustainability of successful professional craftspeople, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and manufacturers.